How to Use a Preschool Morning Binder (PLUS all you need to get started!)

How to Use a Preschool Morning Binder (PLUS all you need to get started!)

I have a tenacious 3 year old who wants to do a LOT of school. He loves to learn and do things just like the big kids. I love to encourage his desire to learn, so I created a "morning binder" for him after being inspired by Yoga Pants and Pearls when I ran across her on Pinterest. You can check out her take on morning binder here.  

I initially downloaded her cute little printable but my OCD jumped in and reminded me that it didn't match the rest of the materials that I had created to complement The Gentle + Classical Preschool (<--- Click that for a FREE Preschool Curriculum)... So I had to make my own, while also using a few resources I'd already created to assemble a full Morning Binder for my little one. So here's what's in our Preschool Morning Binder (also, it's not a binder but I'll chat about that too).  

5 Steps to an excellent, beautiful Preschool Morning Binder:  

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You ARE a Good Mom

You ARE a Good Mom

You're a good mom. And I should know- I'm a good mom too, so I'm qualified to judge. 

Here's how I know that we are both good moms: 

I've also felt shame, self-hatred, condemnation, overwhelming guilt, and humiliation over every single one of those things. If you can fail in some way as a parent- I've done it. 

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If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

In the last 20 minutes, I've literally heard the beckoning of "Mama" 38 times. Literally. To keep my sanity, I started counting. As I lay my youngest down to sleep, I pondered the huge milestones we'd met this week of potty training and weaning all intermingled with the frustration and just plain exhaustion of, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

In my heart, I cried out to the Lord to strengthen, encourage, and bless me for the rest of this day and all that it still held... And for the many, many "Mamas" that had yet to be said... 

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The "Morning Basket" Resource for the Rest of Us (Freebie!)

The "Morning Basket" Resource for the Rest of Us (Freebie!)

As the "morning basket" trend has grown, I've seen a LOT of information abounding related to it. I've also witnessed a great deal of confusion and overwhelm by Mamas who are new to homeschool or new to the idea of morning basket. 

In an effort to help clear the muddy waters and be an encouragement,  I created a resource to reflect what I have found to work in our homeschool and what I've seen others echo as well. I love how Mystie Winckler from SimplyConvivial.com discusses their use and organization of morning time binders on her IGTV (on Instagram). She was definitely an inspiration behind this post and creating this resource for all of us to use. 

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The Ultimate Self-Care Practice (and Why It's Not Optional)

The Ultimate Self-Care Practice (and Why It's Not Optional)

Self-care is a big buzzword right now. External and internal expectations on mamas are louder than ever before.

We face challenges unlike any faced by previous generations of women. Social media, media, infinite parenting philosophies, and the general sinful nature of our humanity has cultivated an exhausting, sometimes tormenting, atmosphere in which we live and desperately push to thrive.

Despite all of the expectations and demands, I believe our generation has a deep heartfelt desire to love our family faithfully, sacrificialy and as much like Christ as possible. I believe there is a revival in our country, especially among moms who desire to not just do motherhood well, but to do it as unto the Lord.

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The Ultimate List of Health Must-Haves (for Every Mom)

The Ultimate List of Health Must-Haves (for Every Mom)

Do you love a recommendation from a friend as much as I do? I love to read reviews and hear the best experiences (and the worst) so I kind of know what to expect. BUT the best recommendations come from an unbiased friend. I especially want to hear from my friends who have lots of kids, lots of responsibilities, and lots of things pulling her in every direction- just like I do! I need to hear what has worked for her and how it's made her life better... because isn't that all what we are looking for? We desire the stamina to live a life worthy of our calling and to avoid sickness as MUCH as possible!

I've walked through a very unhealthy few months. Between being accidentally glutened a few times and the resulting gut damage and deficiencies from that, then finding mold in our new home which kept me sick for months, I've become very refocused on healing my body and getting adequate rest so that I can be the wife and Mom I like to be. Sometimes our own health can be the hardest habit to maintain.

Here are my top 5 favorite things that have been helping me nourish my body, restore balance, and prepare healthful meals for my family as we get back into the "school" swing of things and recover from prolonged sickness:

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I've Been Ruining Motherhood for Myself

I've Been Ruining Motherhood for Myself

In our culture, there's always a "better way" and preoccupation with whether we have chosen "best" can almost consume me at times. I can have a simple decision before me, with a few good options, I can pray hard about it, and then I make the choice. The choosing part most often comes pretty easily. And when I am all alone with my choice, I  usually feel pretty confident about it.

But as I walk along carrying that choice- education, vaccines, birth control, the age our child has certain privileges, the clothes we allow them to wear, how many children we have, what type of food we eat, how we discipline- I begin to see that there are even more options available than what I dreamed possible. Not only that, but all those other options can start to look BETTER than what I  chose. Maybe I  didn't choose the best way, safest way, smartest way after all...

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How to Pursue Excellence Rather than Perfection

How to Pursue Excellence Rather than Perfection

Criticism is something I’ve battled my entire life. It came from extended family members, friends, acquaintances, leaders, and even strangers.

My earliest memory dealing with it was as a small child. Being criticized for being a female while all my cousins and sibling were males was constant. Growing up in a family where my extended relatives praised males was challenging. I never felt enough, no matter how hard I tried.

As a young adult, I worked under a leader who didn’t fully agree with women in ministerial roles. I found myself receiving the same sort of criticism I did as a child. Nothing I did was ever good enough, and every time I opened my mouth I was told I said something wrong. I was given clear instructions, followed them exactly, but somehow I was still critiqued. It was constant, and it was heartbreaking. It crushed my spirit.

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HUGE Elementary Math Copywork Workbook (and how to get it for FREE)

HUGE Elementary Math Copywork Workbook (and how to get it for FREE)

Who doesn't love copywork... especially math copywork, right? Well, besides your kids! While we get a fair amount of pushback from our students, the struggle is worth the outcome. In what other way can you practice slow memorization while also absorbing the fundamentals of English grammar and punctuation AND practice handwriting all at once? In my mind, math should be no different. While memorization of math terms is only one small portion in math instruction, it is an important portion nonetheless.

I personally usually take to the internet, mainly Pinterest, searching high and low for copywork pages that fit what we are studying each year in each subject. Truly, the hardest to come by have been copywork pages for math. AND if I did find them, it was rare to find them for the particular term I was looking for. I wanted a workbook of the vast majority of the terms my students would run across in elementary school without having to go look high and low or create my own every single time we found a new term. 

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When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

If you're reading this, you are probably in the midst of teaching one of your little ones to read OR you have that endeavor looming ahead of you in the near future... amiright? The singular biggest fear of every single homeschool mom I've ever spoken to is failing to teach her child to read well... and especially failing to teach them "on time".

In most of our minds, we envision that our homeschooled child would be reading well in advance of their public school counterparts (or at least at the same time). Simultaneously, in our little hearts, one reason we homeschool is to give our children the time and space to grow and develop on their own timeline. Sometimes these desires and expectations clash and can create monster homeschool mom anxiety. I know many mamas who have quit homeschooling (or never even began) because they were overwhelmed at the idea of failing in this important task. 

I want to share some actual evidence with you today that helped put me at ease when my own homeschool student just wasn't progressing like I felt she "should." 

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